Saskatoon’s sky became a canvas Saturday morning as a plane painted smoke drawings among the clouds to celebrate and promote the Remai Modern Art Gallery.
The Sky is the Limit performing and drawing art project took to the sky above the still-under-construction Remai Modern to keep art and the gallery in the public mind.
“What better way than to do something that’s open to everyone and in a form that is just so joyful,” Remai Modern executive director Gregory Burke said.
Six pieces commissioned from artists across Canada were translated into temporary sky drawings by aerobatic pilot Stefan Trischuk and his smoky trails. Shapes included a flowing river, a medicine wheel, a bison, Kenya (where one of the artists was born), a hummingbird flight pattern, and a symbolic representation of infinity.
“Some of the drawings talk about locality, and the artists are from different parts of Canada and some of them have heritage outside Canada, but the sky itself it’s really no place in a way. It’s a place that’s shared by everyone on the planet,” Burke said.
Saskatoon’s Alyson Norlen took inspiration for her drawing from the flight of the hummingbird. Like the birds ability to hover, the smoke trails lingered on the air, slowly blowing to the eastern horizon on the wind.
An artist with a love of the ephemeral and ghostly, she said the sky drawings were a perfect fit for her because of their temporary and fleeting state.
“I love the idea of this temporary surprise, this little treasure,” she said.
She said the challenge was finding a design that was symbolic and had meaning but was simple enough for a plane to draw in a limited amount of time and with basic movements.
Remai Modern said the sky painting project is the first of a series of off-site projects that will run until the gallery opens in fall 2016.